Restaurant News

Openings and Closings: Local Table Opens in Cypress, El Tiempo in Stafford

Whether you call it a kabob or a kebab, it's delicious.
Whether you call it a kabob or a kebab, it's delicious. Photo by Julie Soefer

Local Table, 10535 Fry, will open June 3 with a ribbon cutting hosted by the Cy-Fair Chamber of Commerce. This will be the second location of the concept from the Hungry's family. The first location opened at Katy's Villagio Town Center in 2016.

Hungry's was first opened in 1975 by Fred Sharifi. It has become an urban staple for cocktails and meals with two locations, one in Rice Village and the other in Memorial. Now, the next generation is bringing the hip vibe to the suburban neighborhoods, a product of Houston's booming and sprawling economy.

“Bringing familiar inner-city vibes to the suburbs, Local Table offers a cool yet comfortable place where our neighbors can relax, unwind, dine, celebrate special events and enjoy quality time with family and friends over healthy meals,” says Hungry’s owner Ashkan Nowamooz. “As their lives have evolved and they start their own families, many have moved beyond Houston proper. Local Table brings what they know and love from town—without the drive—to their own neighborhood.”

click to enlarge The Rustica pizza at Local Table. - PHOTO BY JULIE SOEFER
The Rustica pizza at Local Table.
Photo by Julie Soefer
Local Table uses locally-sourced and farm fresh ingredients to create its menu of Neapolitan-style pizzas and Mediterranean dishes like gyros, hummus and Tuscan-style salmon. There are burgers, salads and tacos as well, plus vegan and gluten-free options. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday, with much of the regular menu available along with migas, eggs Benedict and omelets.

The new Cypress location will feature a 4,822 square foot space, with seating for 150 guests plus a 15-seat bar and an outdoor, dog-friendly patio with umbrellas for shade. Unlike Houston's Inner Loop, there aren't many dog-friendly restaurants in the suburbs, so this will be a bonus for folks who like to take Fido out for a meal.

click to enlarge Local Table is opening in Cypress. - PHOTO BY JULIE SOEFER
Local Table is opening in Cypress.
Photo by Julie Soefer
The decor of brick, wood and steel was done by Schooley Design giving the restaurant a classic, urban feel. The lighted CTX on the wall is a nod to its Cypress locale.

Happy hour at Local Table will run Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will offer $3.50 domestics, $4.50 craft brews, $5 house wines and $6 Frose. It's time to make your happy hour patio plans with your besties. Or your beasties.

click to enlarge Toasty Tuesdays at Nobie's hint at what's to come. - PHOTO BY VIVIAN LEBA
Toasty Tuesdays at Nobie's hint at what's to come.
Photo by Vivian Leba
The Toasted Coconut, 1617 Montrose, is shooting for an early July 2019 opening. The restaurant recently started a crowdfunding campaign on NextSeed and investors have already jumped on board and helped to surpass the original goal. That is probably because the team behind the new venture brings a lot of experience and previous success with them. Husband and wife, Sara and Martin Stayer, have years of experience in the hospitality industry with Martin having worked in Michelin starred restaurants in Chicago. The couple made their way to Houston and opened Nobie's in 2017. They bring Sarah Troxell with them and the award winning bartender will be creating an expansive menu of creative tiki drinks and killer cocktails made with fresh ingredients and housemade syrups. Troxell most recently was named " Best Bartender in Houston"  at the 2019 Houston Tastemakers Awards.

Stayer will design the menu around the 20th Parallel, which is a circle of latitude around countries such as Cuba, China, India, Mexico, Thailand and more.

Ambriza Boardwalk, 9945 Barker Cypress, is hoping to open a second location of its popular Ambriza Social Kitchen in Fall 2019. Meanwhile, it has begun recruiting investors through NextSeed. The Boardwalk at Towne Lake in Cypress has been booming with new businesses. The Union Kitchen is expected to open in the same development this summer.

click to enlarge Indigo is doing Houston proud. - PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN ANDERSON/SOLOMON SIXTEENTH
Indigo is doing Houston proud.
Photo by Christian Anderson/Solomon Sixteenth
Indigo, 517 Berry, just made the list for Food and Wine's Best New Restaurants 2019, garnering the #8 spot. Congratulations to chef/owner Jonny Rhodes and his staff!

Finn Hall, 712 Main, has opened its patio with seating both on Main and Rusk. The food hall has ten restaurants and two bars, including Mala Sichuan, Goode Co. Taqueria, Low Tide, Craft Burger and more. There is something for everyone's taste, so everyone in your group can pick their favorite meal, grab a cold beer or cocktail from Swallow's Nest or a coffee drink from Amaya Coffee and enjoy watching the downtown scene as it rushes by you. The patio is pup-friendly, but pets are not allowed inside the hall, no matter how cute they are.

click to enlarge Buffalo guys won't you come out tonight? - PHOTO BY THOMAS WILSON
Buffalo guys won't you come out tonight?
Photo by Thomas Wilson

Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company
has announced that Beaver's executive chef Arash Kharat will lead the Culinary Operations for Buffalo Brewing's new headquarters at Sawyer Yards which is slated to open the latter part of 2019. Houston native Kharat has collaborated with the brewery before including his his days at Blood Brothers BBQ and with beer dinners and events at Beaver's. He also smoked the malt for the annual releases of Buff Brews' Smoke on the Bayou.

“I’ve always adored Arash’s food,” says Rassul Zarinfar, Founder and CEO of Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company. “And our whole team already loves him so much from all of our incredible, palate-bending collaborations and parties over the years. He’s the perfect fit."

click to enlarge Frozen margaritas beat the heat at El Tiempo. - PHOTO BY TROY FIELDS
Frozen margaritas beat the heat at El Tiempo.
Photo by Troy Fields
El Tiempo Cantina, 12710 Southwest Freeway, had its grand opening May 22. This makes the ninth location for the El Tiempo concept from Roland Lorenzo and son Domenic Laurenzo.  Roland is the eldest child of "Mama" Ninfa Laurenzo, the undisputed matron of Houston's Tex-Mex culinary culture.

The first El Tiempo opened on Richmond in 1998. It serves a variety of Tex-Mex and Mexican favorites from fajitas to carnitas to various seafood dishes. Diners can start with appetizers like the spicy black bean dip or Frito Mixta, a combination of fried shrimp, calamari and vegetables. There are plenty of salad options for those looking for something light, though the Parrilla salad with its fresh greens, mango, jicama, mandarins and praline pecans tossed in cilantro and topped with cotija cheese, avocado slices and drizzled with tamarindo peanut mole with a choice of chicken, carnitas or shrimp is a little on the more bountiful side, which it should be  as it comes in just shy of 20 bucks. That's a better deal than the Caesar salad at $14.99, without meat.

The Parrilla Salad is a delicious masterpiece. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
The Parrilla Salad is a delicious masterpiece.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
The menu is extensive (and expensive) from traditional combo plates to quail, veal sweetbreads and short ribs. The prices are higher than most Tex-Mex restaurants in Houston, but the opening of a ninth location proves that Houstonians are willing to pay them. The lunch menu is easier on the wallet and the pork tamales are a good value and come with a choice of red or green chile con carne. They deliver the homemade goodness that many restaurant tamales lack.

The brunch menu offers huevos done many ways, chilaquiles and other breakfast options with a Mexican twist. Breakfast is served Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the prices are pretty reasonable. There's also a generous happy hour from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

click to enlarge The Peli Peli Woodlands will be done in Cape Dutch architecture. - ARTIST'S RENDERING BY TIM CISNEROS
The Peli Peli Woodlands will be done in Cape Dutch architecture.
Artist's rendering by Tim Cisneros
Peli Peli, 1201 Lake Woodlands Drive, is slated for July 2019, though co-owner Thomas Nguyen says that's still a maybe. The new restaurant will take over the spot in The Woodlands Mall which originally housed Mi Cocina. However, it is undergoing a complete renovation with The Woodlands location to be the first Peli Peli to feature the Cape Dutch architecture that is prominent in the Western Cape of South Africa.

This will make the fourth location of the fine dining South African fusion restaurant. The Peli Peli Restaurant Group also operates the two Peli Peli Kitchens, a fast-casual concept that serves peri peri chicken, Portuguese fajitas, wings and burgers.

Revival Market, 550 Heights, has brought in Steve Lamborn as Chef de Cuisine. Lamborn is a veteran chef with experience from the Northeast down to Houston and has spent the past seven years as executive sous chef at The Pass and Provisions. He has a strong connection to food and its source, having been raised by a father who was managing partner of a large farm in Delaware and a mother who managed the General Store where the produce was sold.

His upbringing around different varietals of vegetables will be reflected in some of the new menu items at Revival, including the Fresh Market Salad, composed of Tuscan kale, spinach, heirloom carrots, candy-striped beets with toasted cashews in a green garlic goddess dressing. However, there will also still be plenty of new carnivore-friendly dishes like the smoked corn beef sandwich and Lamborn is looking forward to doing more butchery. The chef will also bring in more seafood options and is tinkering with housemade breads, too.
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Lorretta Ruggiero is a Houston Press freelance writer based in Cypress, Texas. She loves entertaining her family and friends with her food and sparkling wit. She is married to Classic Rock Bob and they have two exceptionally smart-aleck children.